Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is how we use various parts of our body or even our whole body to make something, find a solution to a problem or to convey meaning.
For a child, who is strong in bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, here are some ways in which you can provide interesting learning opportunities.
Strengths of children with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
- They respond very well to physical stimulus
- They have excellent physical skills - gross motor skills and fine motor skills
- Their bodies have great flexibility and agility
- Their hands are very dexterous
- They tend to move around as part of their learning process (may not be able to sit still)
Activities that children with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence will enjoy
- All types of hands-on activities where they can feel and touch and manipulate objects
- Science experiments
- Participating in dramas
- Physical activities like climbing, rolling, jumping, crawling etc.,
- Outdoor activities that involve physical stimulus - climbing a hill, hikes, walks in the forest etc.,
- Activities that require them to move about in a large physical space
- Scavenger hunts
- Dumb charades
Helping children with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence learn
For children with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, physical interaction, physical stimulus and robust body activities are the best pathways to help them learn.
- Make them act out their learning as much as possible
- Help them remember what they have learnt by associating it with hand gestures, body parts, mimes etc.,
- Help them do as many experiments and projects as possible to learn science, mathematics (using objects) etc.,
- Give them a stimulative environment where things are within their sight and reach
- Give them access to a diverse set of materials that they use to create and experiment
- Give them breaks to walk around when they are learning. They may find it difficult to sit still.
Toys and materials that you should have for children with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
- Manipulative toys
- Construction sets, Legos
- Modeling clay
- Science experiment kits
- Various kinds of props to use in their dramatizations
- Outdoors gear - good shoes, bags to collect samples (rocks, feathers, plants, flowers etc.,), storage for keeping the specimens they collect
- Sports equipment - bats, racquets, balls
- Dance music
Examples of how to teach various topics to children with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
- To teach addition and subtraction, give them multiple boxes and a set of balls. Make them move the balls around in the boxes, to illustrate addition and subtraction.
- To teach them dimensions (length, width, area, volumes), teach them hand gestures that signify what they are. For example an area of a triangle (1/2 breadth x height) has 3 hand gestures - for 1/2 use one hand sideways to cut the other hand's palm in half, for breadth put your palms together and move them apart horizontally, for height put your together one on top of the other and move them apart vertically.
- Have your child do a role play about science concepts - for example, evolution from pre-historic animals to apes to humans or a butterfly's lifecycle from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly
- Conduct science experiments - home chemistry, simple physics etc.,
- Have your child learn about atoms, electrons, protons and more by drawing an atom, the nucleus and its orbits on the floor. Let your child move around on it to learn the role of all of the particles.
- Teach your child some dance moves from other countries
- Have your child make up hand gestures for various geological formations that they have to learn about
- Help your child make a drama about the Indian independence movement and play all the characters
- Play dumb charades to learn about various historical occurrences